Clint here one day, gone the next

THUNDER bowler Clint McKay admits he's disappointed to have suddenly fallen out of favour with Australian selectors.

The 32-year-old played his last one-day international almost two years ago, on Australia Day against England when he took 3-36.

In 59 ODIs, the Victorian has 97 wickets at an average of 24.37.

He has also shone for the Thunder in this summer's Big Bash League, sitting equal-third on the wicket-takers' list with 11.

Yet he admits making the Australian squad to tour India for the World T20 starting in March will "probably not happen", with national selectors preferring youth.

"Of course, it's always your ambition to represent your country, and you do whatever you can to do it," McKay told APN.

"I'd be very excited if I got the chance to again, but that (playing in the World T20) probably won't happen.

"It's disappointing not being part of the (Australian one-day) team, but there's no point moping around about it - I'm enjoying playing with the Thunder and Victoria."

And he's looking forward to being involved in the Sydney Smash against the Sixers in a crucial match at a packed SCG tonight.

After losing its past four matches, the Thunder needs to win to have a chance of making the semi-finals.

"It'll be very exciting to play in front of 40,000 at the SCG in a Sydney derby, and we need to win to stay in the competition, so we're treating this like it's our quarter-final," McKay said.

While the Strikers (12 points), Scorchers (10) have secured their final four spots, the Stars (8), Thunder and Renegades (both 6) are locked in a battle to secure the last two semi-final berths. The Stars take on the Strikers in the other game tonight, while the Renegades host the Strikers on Monday.

The Big Bash's popularity has exploded this summer. Recent figures showed it sat ninth for most-attended sporting leagues in the world, with an average of 28,279.

The BBL's crowd figures are knocking on the door of the elite La Liga football and Major League Baseball competitions.

"So many new people are watching cricket," McKay said. .

"But at the end of the day, Test cricket will always be the pinnacle.

"The BBL is a fantastic competition which we love playing in, but wearing the baggy green cap will always be the No.1 priority."

The Thunder has brought New Zealand international batsman Henry Nicholls into its 13-man squad, with champion all-rounder Jacques Kallis (groin) ruled out.

Usman Khawaja is also not available on Australian one-day duty.

For the Sixers, big-hitting top order batsman Nic Maddinson (ankle) returns to the squad.

He comes in for Ryan Carters, with spinner Riley Ayre making way for all-rounder Trent Lawford.

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